Predictors of Preference for the Exported Campus Model of Study Abroad
Since the early 1960s, there has been a steady increase in the number of students enrolled in institutions of higher education outside of their home countries. This study contributes to the information available to study abroad professionals seeking to guide students in selecting programs that are best suited to their individual characteristics and needs. In addition, it identifies critical attitudes and skills to target for improvement in pre-departure and in-country training that may otherwise limit the culture learning of exported campus students. With better understanding of the traits, attitudes, and skills of students who prefer the exported campus model, these programs can better fulfill the important function of facilitating participants' successful encounters with the host culture. A total of 188 students signed up to participate in this study. Students with previous college level study abroad experience were dropped from the analysis, including five international students and nine domestic students. The remaining 174 respondents included 63 male and 111 female undergraduate students (83.4% first year, 10.7% sophomores, 5.3% juniors, and .6% seniors) whose participation fulfilled a research requirement. They ranged in age from 18 to 23 years (M = 18.63) and attended a small liberal arts university in Southern California. At this institution more than 50% of students participate in one of several study abroad options, including exported campus, direct enrollment, and hybrid programs. Students who signed up to participate in this study were contacted via e-mail and asked to voluntarily complete an anonymous, on-line survey. The questionnaire used in this study took approximately 20 minutes to complete and assessed basic demographic information, preferred model of study abroad, and potential predictors of model preference. Students who preferred the exported campus model scored significantly higher on ethnocentrism and lower on measures of adventurousness, language learning interest, motivational cultural intelligence (CQ), and metacognitive CQ than those who preferred the more immersive model. These students also scored higher on intercultural communication apprehension, and lower on tolerance of ambiguity, cognitive CQ, and behavioral CQ, although these differences only approached significance in the discriminant analysis. There was no significant difference between groups in general self-efficacy. Future research might investigate the role of domain specific forms of self-efficacy in preference for model of study abroad, such as self-efficacy in intercultural communication.
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad